Tim Gunn herds the 10 remaining designers to the Michael Kors store in Soho for a little field trip. Here they find Michael himsel. For once, he’s slipped off the judge’s stool and now, has taken on the role of motivator. He urges the gang to “think outside the box” on the next challenge. And oh yeah, this one’s classic Runway --– go to a hardware store with $150 and create an innovative look and accessory.
Three designers rock the challenge. Jay Nicolas Sario somehow magically spins garbage bags and blue tape into a leather-like pants, a bustier and smashingly sophisticated braided belt. He wins for immunity.
We actually liked Maya Luz’ chic ensemble even better – a cage-like jacket of Venetian blind cord topping a slim net sheath, and a killer necklace of keys and chain. It was fabulous.
Mila Hermanovski, too, used an interesting material for her smart, mod dress – black and white paint trays. She is clearly miffed that she doesn’t win.
Honorable mention to Amy Sarabi for her sandpaper bustier with fanned front. She wasn’t in the top three but it looked good.
The boys, overall, struggled with the challenge and the episode seemed dark. The workroom was without levity for the most part so the whole vibe of the show seemed a tad morose. A lot of the problems arose from the fact that the materials people chose could potentially slash the models – sheet metal, copper, wire and bolts. And speaking of slashing, more than one contestant complained about bloodied fingers. Ouch.
Jesse Lenoir loses for his Tin Man meets ballerina get-up – the bustier part made of copper flashing sprayed silver. Kors says his model looks “costumey, like a Hershey’s kiss.” Heidi Klum thinks it’s more of a dirty vacuum bag moment. They did like his metal hair accessory.
True, it wasn’t great, but nothing was worse than Emilio Sosa’s “Vegas show girl,” bikini. It wasn’t just “cheesy,” as Kors said. But truthfully, the barely there fuchsia rope and washers design was atrociously put together. Emilio knew it was bad. “If I were going to jump off a cliff, I went full throttle,” he said at one point. Uh, yeah buddy. And he was lucky to escape this time around (and he knew it).
Guest judges, Isabel Toledo (you might remember, she designed first lady Michelle Obama’s Inauguration day ensemble) and Stephen Webster (a luxury jeweler) did a fine job, but should have gotten a bit more airtime.